Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

snowman, building, winter

Even though we've had our hats, scarves, gloves and coats out for a while, the first day of winter is finally here!  Winter officially begins on December 21, a day that is called the Winter Solstice because it has the shortest amount of daylight. Here in Chicago, winters can be extremely cold, but that doesn't […]

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Once Upon a Christmas

Scrooge looking through window

There is no time like the holidays to cuddle up with classic Christmas stories. I still remember when I first saw A Christmas Carol as a young girl. Seeing Goodman Theatre's A Christmas Carol this month gave me the same thrill. Wanting to continue that magic, I was inspired to re-read this classic Dickens tale. Though there […]

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Rudolph, the Most Famous Chicagoan of All

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

President Obama and Nancy Reagan are very famous Chicagoans. However, the most famous Chicagoan of all is a youth who overcame adversity to become an international leader. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer's story was first told by Robert Lewis May in 1939. The Montgomery Ward Company commissioned May to do a children’s storybook. The book was […]

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Author of the Month Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman photo

Dusk fell and the cold came creeping, came prickling into our hearts. Winter has arrived in Chicago and everyone, animals included, is preparing for a long, cold season. How do animals survive in the winter? While some animals travel south, many animals are built for the cold. Learn about a few animals, and even some […]

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You Can’t Catch Me…

Gingerbread cookies

Celebrating the holidays wouldn't be complete without decorating gingerbread men. Just be sure your gingerbread men don't run away before you slide them into the oven or you won't have any to frost on December 13 for Gingerbread Decorating Day. This classic story of the runaway cookie is so loved that there are many different flavors of […]

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A Family Festival of Lights!

Hanukkah menorah with eight candles lit

One of my favorite holiday traditions is sitting in front of a glowing menorah with friends and family during Hanukkah. We eat latkes until our stomachs are full of fried food. Then we play dreidel, betting chocolate in this simple top-spinning game and trying not to eat our winnings. These are all classic Hanukkah traditions, […]

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What’s Beyond Our Earth?

Horse head nebula

Look up! Way beyond our atmosphere are 11 Planets, nebula, comets, asteroids, galaxies, billions of stars and much much more. What we know, and even what we don't know, about the universe can't be contained in a Space Encyclopedia, which is why astronomers and everyday citizens, like you, keep searching the skies above. Between December 15 and January […]

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Explore Our Nearest Space Neighbor


When you look up into the sky on a clear night, you may not be able to see many stars, but on most nights, you will be able to see the moon. At one quarter of a million miles away, The Moon is the closest object to the Earth in space. How do the Earth and […]

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Jolly Helpers

Elf on the shelf in hot air balloon

It's almost that time of the year again! Santa's workshop is in full swing as they get ready to deliver presents all over the world and children everywhere are on their best behavior to be sure to make it onto the nice list. We always think about dear old Santa, but what about all the others that […]

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